- 1 Seasonal Use, Exceptions & Pairings
- 2 Motif Examples
- 3 Motif in Literature & Other Usage
- 4 Article Notes
|Season||Late spring, early summer|
|Seasonal Exceptions||Auspicious uses|
Kujaku refers to peafowl. Green Peafowl (Pavo muticus) were imported to Japan by the Muromachi era from China and were bred in captivity. The green peafowl is a cousin of the Indian (Blue) Peafowl (Pavo cristatus). Unlike the Indian peafowl, the Green Peafowl frequently wades and even swims in pursuit of food. Albinism is possible with selective breeding and white kujaku are not uncommon motif variations.
Due to habitat loss, Green Peafowl are currently classified as Endangered in Japan.
Seasonal Use, Exceptions & Pairings
Peafowl mate in late spring or early summer, so a displaying peacock is a seasonal motif. However, kujaku are often used as an auspicious motif out of season.
The "eyes" on kujaku feathers were also believed to ward off evil.
Common Motif Pairings
Identification & Style Variations
Kujaku are easily identified by their long tail feathers with distinct eyes. Sometimes the feathers alone are depicted.
Kujaku are most often confused with hou-ou. Hou-ou may have similar tail feathers, but never are shown with a spread tail and often have a stylized crest on their head. If the motif is accompanied by kiri, it is most likely hou-ou.
Detail of Nagoya obi with kujaku from the collection of Sarcasm-hime
Detail of Nagoya obi with kujaku feathers from the collection of SuperGrouper
Kurotomesode with kujaku from the collection of Gikuyu
Motif in Literature & Other Usage
Where possible - try to find examples of motif in literature, art and real life. If you are unable to find an example - remove this section.
Relevant Threads / Discussions
- Nitanai, Keiko. Kimono Design: An Introduction to Textiles and Patterns. Tuttle Publishing, Vermont. 2017. p.25.
- JAANUS on Kujaku Myouou, accessed February 4, 2013
- Bika Bika
Authors & Contributors
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